After a night of violent protests centered around a fatal police shooting in North Carolina, Governor Patrick McCrory called into CNN where he cheerfully pontificated on violence (bad) and his time as mayor of Charlotte (good) until he suddenly realized he had work to do, right around the time anchor Don Lemon started to press for comment on police body cams.
McCrory, who signed the state’s restrictive and ridiculous bathroom restrictions into law and then held a fake press conference to make himself look better, stressed that he supports police body cams—he just doesn’t want anyone to ever see the footage because 1) video is inherently untrustworthy (?) and 2) it’s a violation of a police officer’s constitutional rights to release it to the public (??).
Fortunately, McCrory explained the logic.
“One viewpoint of a video doesn’t often always tell the whole story. The angles can make a difference, and not hearing often in the video, so that the complexity... The video is one piece of evidence, and, and we have to be very careful,” he said. “And then I go back to the constitutional rights of our police officers, which you also have to protect. It’s a very delicate line that we as a society are dealing with with all the new media that is available. In one respect, it can be used to a very great positive thing for our public, in another way the video can also be abused.”
And then, incredibly, a breaking miracle—Lemon pushed back with pointed questions.
“Why not release [dash cam footage] to the public, though, because the state Attorney General and the ALCU are upset that it blocks it from a public viewing,” Lemon said. And just like that, McCory had other things to do.
McCrory: Don, I’ve got to respect the constitutional right of our police officers and also the investigation.
Lemon: What about the constitutional right of the citizens though?
McCrory: And I’m going to protect a person’s constitutional right at the same time.
Lemon: And the constitutional right of the citizen?
McCrory: Absolutely. In fact, some citizens in videos we might need to protect, also in videos, because a lot of times we have innocent people within a video, videos that might be in domestic violence disputes and so forth.
Listen Don I’ve got to get back to work, I’ve got a lot of work to do.
Lemon: Governor before you go, I know you have to go, but can I ask you one question?
McCrory: Yeah, I’ve got a lot of work to do but—
Lemon: Can I ask you one question before you go?
McCrory: One more and we’ve got to get to work.
What a weird coincidence!